Players of the Week ending Dec 19, 2014

team-dakotaCTV Division:
Congratulations to Dakota Lancers’ Ashten Vankoughnett who was a dominant force throughout the game, helping her team beat the FRC Centurions by a score of 4-2. Ashten’s ability to read the plays resulted in numerous scoring opportunities.

team-pci_saints WFP Division:
Congratulations to PCI Saints’ Bailey Grantham who scored 1 goal and was an on-going force in her team’s 5-5 tie with the Mile Mac Buckeyes. Three days later, Bailey’s constant checking resulted in another goal and a 3-1 win over the Shaftesbury Titans.

Players of the Week ending October 17, 2014

team-dakotaCTV Division 1: Congratulations to Dakota Lancers’ red hot goalie Sydney Urwin who was brilliant in her 27 save 4-1 victory over the CSHC Huskies. If not for her calm, cool net minding, the game could have easily swayed CSHC favour.

team-lorettescorpionsWinnipeg Free Press Division 2: Congratulations to CLC Scorpions’ forward Mattison Borgfjord who scored 2 goals and 1 assist in her team’s 6-3 victory over the West Kildonan Wolverines. Her late goal in the 3rd, sealed her team’s momentum and put the game out of reach.

Report on Game #1, CTV Division A Finals

Final: Dakota 2-1 (OT) FRC Centurions
March 10 2014

Players of the Game:
Jessica Schmidt, Dakota Lancers
Cassidy Mazur, FRC Centurions

If Game One of the B Side Finals was characterized by wide open trading chances hockey, then Game One of the A Side Final/League Championship was characterized by tight checking defence first play. Finally, however, #16 Jessica Schmidt for the Dakota Lancers fed the puck to #77 Taylor Friesen and the scoring phenom maneuvered herself into position in the slot and fired a quick shot beating FRC Centurions goaltender Katrina Mizeracki to the stick-side, 1 – 0 Lancers. The Centurions pushed back with a hard slap shot by #4 Andrea Bruce; the rebound trickled just too far for her winger. Later in the period #23 Cassidy Mazur chipped the puck past the Lancers’ defender and led a rush. She was checked but regained control of the puck and fired a backhand which beat Lancers’ goaltender Sydney Urwin but clanged off the left post just as the first period came to an end.

In the second, the game became increasingly physical with Andrea taking an early slashing penalty and sending the Lancers on the power play. However, it was the Centurions that had the first scoring chance with #22 Alyssa Cochrane firing a slap shot which Sydney stopped with her blocker. The Lancers responded with #4 Ashten Vankoughnett passing to #9 Mackenzie Kowalczuk but her shot was high and wide. Back at full strength the play seemed to open with Ashten getting a shot and the Centurions response coming from Cassidy who beat three Lancers’ defenders and almost got into the clear in front of Sydney, only to be knocked off the puck at the last moment. Then #18 Olivia Renaud was called for interference and it was the Centurions’ chance to go on the power play. However, the Lancers did a good job of keeping the Centurions out of the offensive zone and limiting their chances and no damage was done. However seconds after Olivia was back on the ice, Cassidy gained the offensive zone and was held by #19 Madison Stratton. This time the Centurions power play did a much better job and #17 Tori White fired a hard slap shot which Sydney gloved. On the next play the puck came back to Tori, she passed to Cassidy for another shot but Sydney held her ground. The Lancers finally cleared with #5 Trina Allard leading a 2 on 1 with Jessica on her wing. The puck ended being shot right through the crease but again no harm was done. On the next play Lancers’ #22 Paige Carloni was tripped by Centurions’ #2 Kyra Fanning and again the Lancers were on the power play. This was quickly nullified however when Cassidy skated in to the Lancers’ zone and was tripped by #2 Kaileigh Tod. With the teams playing 4 on 4, the puck came back to Andrea at the point, her slap shot was labeled but Sydney saw it at the last moment and made the save. As time wound down in the second period, the Centurions had a brief power play which Alyssa almost converted when with less than 5 seconds left she rang a slap shot off the post.

In the third period both teams seemed to find a higher level. Alyssa led a rush, 2 on 1. Using her winger as a decoy, she fired a hard slap shot which Sydney deflected. Jessica replied for the Lancers sweeping down left wing. Her pass to #11 Kelsie Sloan was just too far. #2 Kyra Fanning responded for the Centurions with a shot from the point which was stopped by Sydney but the rebound trickled tantalizingly towards the goal line until it was covered by Andrea. The Lancers cleared but soon the Centurions were back led by Cassidy. She passed to #12 Quinn Nicholls who was stripped of the puck by Lancers’ defender #14 Sarah Hiltz just in time. The Lancers couldn’t clear however and the puck came to #19 Haven Saunders. Haven passed back to Cassidy who skated in from the right side and fired it past Sydney, 1 – 1. The Lancers pushed back hard, perhaps overly so, and found themselves spending time in the penalty box as first Olivia and then #10 Sydney Last were sent off for roughing and tripping respectively. However, Sydney kept the score even with excellent goaltending, ably assisted by her defence, particularly Ashten. With the teams at full strength and less than 3 minutes to play, the Centurions exerted sustained pressure and a rebound came to Quinn in perfect position by the weak-side post. Her shot seemed labeled but somehow Sydney got across and made the save. With overtime looming, each team took time outs in quick succession but the score remained deadlocked as the buzzer went to end the third period.

Overtime Baby! The tension reached a fever pitch as both sides had excellent chances. For the Centurions, Cassidy seemed to be everywhere and finally she fed a perfect pass to Haven. Half the net seemed open but again Sydney got across and made the save. Then it was the Lancers’ turn. Mackenzie came in from a sharp angle but Katrina held the post. After a period of furious end-to-end action, the Centurions were called for icing. Jessica won the draw for the Lancers and passed back to Ashten at the point. Her shot was right on but Katrina froze the puck. Again the teams lined up for the faceoff; again Jessica won the draw and passed back to Ashten; again Ashten fired a shot on net; this time it was neatly deflected by Jessica over Katrina’s shoulder and into the net. The Lancers’ fans went wild as they celebrated a hard fought victory. Shots on goal, Dakota Lancers 26, FRC Centurions 23.

Kudos to the fans of both teams who rocked the stands at the Iceplex (Dakota even brought their band)!

Players of the Week ending February 7, 2014

CTV Division A:
Congratulations to Dakota Lancers’ Ashten Vankoughnett who played a monster of a game with solid defense. Ashten blocked shots, led breakouts after gaining control of the puck and never gave the CJS Olympiens time to set up in her zone, contributing to the Lancers 3-1 defeat.

Winnipeg Free Press Division B:
Congratulations to West Kildonan Wolverines’ Mackenzie Neapew who had a hot hand in her team’s 5-1 victory over the Sanford Sabres. Mackenzie played an outstanding game, fore-checking, back checking, and scoring 3 goals and one helper.

Players of the Week ending December 6, 2013

CTV Division A:
Congratulations to Dakota Lancers’ Maddison Stratton, a power forward who assisted on 5 of her team’s 6 goals in their 6 to 0 victory over the Springfield Sabres. Maddison played a great game both offensively and defensively, constantly battling for the puck and being the first into the corners.

Winnipeg Free Press Division B:
Congratulations to Miles Mac Buckeyes’ Rachel Chem, who scored 1 goal and assisted on another in her team’s 4 to 1 victory over the Beliveau Barracudas. Rachel played the game with a lot of passion and enthusiasm as she skated hard every shift that she was on the ice.

Dakota are Champions!

Game Two- Dakota Lancers vs. Louis Riel Voyageurs

You could cut the tension with a knife as the Louis Riel Voyageurs lined up against the Dakota Lancers. The Lancers and their yellow bang stick equipped fans could almost taste victory but the Voyageurs and their supporters were equally determined to extend the series. Both teams came out skating hard with shots generally even but gradually Dakota exerted pressure. With 5:12 left in the first, top scoring forward Kayla Friesen took a pass from #9 and skated in on a break. The Grade 9 phenom deked to her forehand and went backhand, tucking the puck behind a sprawling Lauren LaFleche. 1-0 Lancers. Moments later, Kayla again was sent in all alone off a nice pass from Mackenzie Kowalczuk but this time Lauren shut the door. With time winding down in the First, Karina Durupt took a penalty. The Lancers sensed a golden opportunity but the Voyageurs did an excellent job on the PK and made it unscathed to the buzzer. In the Second, with 45 seconds still on Karina’s penalty, the Lancers controlled. Ashten Vankoughnett passed from the point to Karina at the half wall. She fed a cross ice pass to Dakota Captain Natasha Esquivel. Natasha fired a hard shot which bounced in off a Voyageurs defender.

With the powerplay goal Dakota took a 2-0 lead. But the Voyageurs hadn’t made it to the Finals by giving up easy and they pressed hard to narrow the score. Brigitte Gauvin fired from the point. Kelsey Bowerman made the save but the rebound came to Karina in the slot. Her shot sailed just wide. Then Dakota was penalized. Sensing their chance, the Voyageurs went all out for the score, which led to an offensive chance for Natasha, but Lauren executed a nifty poke check and seconds later foiled a wraparound attempt by Kayla. As often happens in hockey, a great save at one end led to good things at the other, and now it was the Voyageurs turn to exert pressure. Brigitte intercepted a Lancers clearing attempt. She fired a hard shot from the slot, beating Kelsey cleanly. 2-1. With that powerplay goal giving them new life, the Voyageurs redoubled their efforts. Things looked very promising as Dakota took another penalty, with Kayla sent of for interference. But Natasha had other ideas, as she picked the pocket of a Voyageurs defender and skated in on Lauren, beating her on the backhand to score short-handed, lifting the Lancers to a 3-1 lead. As the Third Period opened, Dakota strove to bar the door and the Voyageurs tried to get back in the game. Play became increasingly physical with penalties handed out freely to both teams. Finally the Voyageurs threw caution to the winds and it cost them. Natasha took a pass from #16 and fired a hard shot. Lauren made the save but Natasha cashed in on the rebound to complete the hat trick. 4-1. As that’s how it ended, to the delight on the Dakota fans.
Shots on goal 27-24 in favour of Dakota, a narrow margin that showed the measure of the effort by the Voyageurs, valiant in a losing cause. They will be back. On the 50/50 front, the girls of FRC blew away all contenders, with an amazing total of $177. Thanks to all volunteers, especially Wayne Thompson, whose Playoff organizing skills are only exceeded by his good looks. See you at the Banquet!

Women's high school hockey champs Lancers claim crown

The Dakota Lancers came into their final game with red hot sticks — and left with a glint of gold around their necks. In front of a boisterous MTS Iceplex crowd, the Lancers claimed a decisive 4-1 victory Thursday over the Louis Riel Voyageurs, en route to being declared the Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League Division A champs. When the final buzzer rang, the girls swarmed the ice, leaping into a final team hug.

“I’m speechless, it’s amazing,” said Grade 12 Dakota player Natasha Esquivel, who recorded a hat trick for the winners. “I just want to keep going, but it was an awesome season, amazing game, and I love the girls on my team.”

The teams came into the game ready for a battle. After splitting two matches during the season, Dakota had taken a lead in their best-of-three final series with a 4-1 win on Tuesday.

But in the end, the Voyageurs couldn’t find an answer for the Lancers’ firepower. Consider Dakota’s opening goal, a beauty by 15-year-old phenom Kayla Friesen, who was lurking on the Voyageurs blue-line. She caught a breakout pass from Ashten Vankoughnett, streaked forward, beat a Voyageurs defenceman clean and deked out Louis Riel goalie Lauren LaFleche. With 5:12 left in the first period, the puck found the back of the net.

Read full article on Winnipeg Free Press

Champs symbolic of growth

Kodiaks take Division B title; women’s game keeps maturing

There was a time, not that long ago, that many River East Kodiaks women’s hockey players had only just started to skate, were still learning how to drive to the net and were shaky taking a pass. There was a time, three years ago, when they lost every single game.Now, they can rightly call themselves city champs, undefeated across 22 tilts and, for now, on top of their game.

On Tuesday, while Queen’s We Are the Champions crackled and blared over the MTS Iceplex speakers, the 12-member Kodiaks squad gathered on the ice to savour the title. They’d just capped a perfect best-of-three series against the St. Norbert Celtics with a triumphant 4-1 win, a victory that put them on top of the Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League’s developmental Division B.

The game almost ended in a second consecutive shutout for Grade 12 goalie Sydne Valiquette, but for a late third-period strike by the Celtics’ Kennedy Hutcheson. It was a convincing win.

“It’s unbelievable,” assistant coach Pat Carroll said of the team’s remarkable year. “We didn’t expect that. We just wanted the girls to have a lot of fun, and they did… and they ended up winning, a lot.”

Now, the school could be figuring to make the jump up to the league’s Division A next year. “I think it will be good, it’ll be more competitive,” said Grade 11 forward Cassandra Szczepanski.

Full article on the Winnipeg Free Press

Lancers on the cusp of glory

4-1 win puts Dakota a win away from title

THANKS to a red-hot goaltender and a couple rifle shots from a first-year player, the Dakota Lancers are one game away from being crowned champs of the Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League. On Tuesday, the Lancers opened their best-of-three final series against WWHSHL Division A rivals, the Louis Riel Voyageurs, with a decisive 4-1 victory at the MTS Iceplex.

Although the score looked lopsided, Lancers coach Brad Johnston said the game was tight on the ice. No surprise, given that the teams split their two matches during the season. “It was a pretty even game, but our goalie played really well,” Johnston said. “The second (game in the series) will be the same.”

Indeed, the Voyageurs’ lone goal — scored with 6:24 left in the third period by Jenna Mazur, off assists by Emilie Carr and Julie Hince — was the first one scored against Lancers goalie Kelsey Bowerman in 144 minutes of playoff action.

The Lancers skaters turned out to help their goalie. The team struck first at 10:55 of the first period, when 15-year-old Kayla Friesen took a pass from Trina Allard, streaked into the offensive zone and fired a rocket from just above the hashmarks; it was the Lancers’ first shot on goal, and it beat the Voyageurs’ goalie clean.

Full article on Winnipeg Free Press

Players of the Week ending February 1, 2013

CTV Division A
Congratulations to Dakota Lancers’ Mackenzie Kowalczuk who scored 2 goals in helping her team beat the Sanford Sabres 8-0 on Thursday and adding an assist and some sparkling defense in a 4-1 victory over the West Kildonan Wolverines the next day.

Winnipeg Free Press Division B
Congratulations to the Beliveau Barracudas’ goalie Kailey Penner who lead her team to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Westwood Warriors as she stopped 23 shots with 3 outstanding saves in the last 30 seconds of the game.

Players of the Week 2012-13 Archive